In the Biden Administration, HHS will be less about public health and more about the imposition of divisive secular social policy. The Equality Act and the Do No Harm Act will be the cudgels by which the administration executes these policies.
Two bills have lingered between the Democratic House and Republican Senate for the last few years. Now that Joe Biden is president, and both houses are controlled by Democrats, these two bills are likely to be signed into law: the Equality Act and the Do No Harm Act.
The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act to forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, but it would also fulfill the abortion industry’s long-fought desire to establish abortion as “health care” officially and legally by outlawing “pregnancy discrimination.” It requires that access to “treatment” for pregnancy must not be any different from access to any other kind of health care treatment for any other “physical condition.” But this is all code language for implementation of a vigorous national policy of abortion on demand for any or no reason.
By making abortion health care and declaring that no person shall be discriminated against in access to such care, the Equality Act would make opposing abortion access morally equivalent to opposing dialysis, chemotherapy, stitching a wound, or setting a fractured arm; if there is no morally serious argument to be made against setting fractures, neither can there be a morally serious argument against providing an abortion. On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Biden called abortion “health care” and repeated that he intends to make Roe v. Wade the law of the land, removing any doubt about his commitment to the Equality Act.
The Equality Act would also outlaw certain kinds of psychological or psychiatric treatment, including any treatment for gender dysphoria that does not conform chapter and verse to extreme gender-identity ideology. Gender “confirmation” hormone therapy and mutilating surgery will also be protected “health care,” under the same analysis as abortion above. And the Act would force schools and athletic conferences to allow biological males to compete against biological females in athletic competitions. On the first day of his presidency, Biden issued an executive order instructing all applicable administrative agencies to enforce just such an agenda.
While even the Obama-era Affordable Care Act contained conscience or refusal provisions for religious believers (albeit largely inadequate ones), the Equality Act expressly denies such exceptions. It explicitly provides that the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under” the Act, nor “provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement” of the Act.